*cue the song "Oh Yeah" by Yello*
I took the day off from work today. I am notoriously bad about not taking time off from work, hence the whole burned-out feeling I've had lately. I've done really well at work to make myself be indispensable. While that is good for job security, it makes it harder, then, to take time off.
So I positioned it this week so my boss was my partner in making sure I took today off. In fact forced me to by yesterday afternoon.
But my wife is at work. It's been a few years since I've had a day off of work without her also here to spend time with. There have been a couple of occasions, I think, but it's been pretty much since I wasn't working when I first came here. Then I had plenty of time off!
So, as today started to approach, I started to panic (well, that is WAY too strong a word) - what will I actually do with time by myself? Last time I had lots of time for myself, we had no money, so I sat on the couch a lot and entertained myself with television and the internet, but now...? Now I could possibly do something touristy - something off the regular path of our every-day life so I actually felt like I had a break from work.
The possibilities were endless. Well, not really. But it is easy to get overwhelmed suddenly with all these opportunities in front of you. And then, there is the reality - it's just *one* day. So, let's not try and pack too much in it.
Wednesday night, my wife started to subtly do what wives (well, spouses generally) might do when their spouse will suddenly have "free" time - which was start to prepare a "honey-do" list.
"Borg...?" she said sweetly. I think spouses begin to recognize certain tones that from the outside seem harmless, but we all know... I do know my wife has begun to recognize some of mine. I gotta switch those up. (digression).
"Yes, my love?"
"Since you'll be home on Friday..." Uh oh. ".. maybe you could do a couple of loads of laundry?"
Seems a reasonable request. Seems harmless. Seems heartless for me to say anything but, "Sure!"
Except I hadn't yet pinned down what I was going to do with my day off. What if I decided to go to Stanley Park for the very first time? THE most touristy thing you can do in the Vancouver area? What if I decided to go south of the border and hit the states? What if I..? What if I..? But NOW I had committed to doing a couple of loads of laundry - that's like an hour and a half of my time blocked in! I only got about eight hours!
AND, there's a separate backstory about the laundry, too, where our safe hours of being able to do it are limited - I'll get into that a little later or in another post. So, her request was even more reasonable given that we had limited opportunities. (And yes, underneath the "Oh Yeah!" if you're listening carefully right now, you can hear the dryer tumbling the first load, and the washer spinning the second one).
But I hadn't settled on what I wanted to do yet, and all of that is even made harder by the inability to actually accurately predict the weather in this darn town. Well you can. Assume it will rain and then be pleasantly surprised if it didn't.
So, I gave her an appropriately wishy-washy answer - that I hope I delivered in my sweetest "uh oh" tone back, and apparently did the trick because she hasn't added anything else to the "honey do" list since then. I said, "Sweetie, I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, so I don't want to make you a promise you that I might not be able to keep, but I will keep it in mind." Or something like that. Either way, I think she bought it. And either way, I'm doing a couple of loads of laundry. So in the end, I think "win-win".
Then there's the eternal question of my ADD meds. I need them to work at my job. I *know* when I forget to take them. About 11 AM, I begin wandering, figuratively, and sometimes literally, and my desire to do *anything* wanes significantly. My effectiveness and productivity take a significant drop. And about 15-20 minutes into observing this mood, I suddenly realize, "Doh!"
On the weekend, though, (although my wife might disagree with this) the most important thing I have to do is spend time with my wife. I don't have particular tasks that MUST be done - although we have general chores, and my wife tends to do most of them. I don't require the assistance to stay focused on particular tasks on the weekend, because I am sharing them with my wife, and believe me she's pretty good at keeping me focused if I have to. (Or giving up altogether and just doing it herself - that's the same thing, right?) But, realistically, we do spend a lot of our weekend just trying to unwind from the rush of the week. And catch up on our sleep.
And part of the time, that last item - catching up on our sleep - is the one of the key reasons I don't take my meds on the weekends - if I take them later than a certain point in the morning, it will keep me up late at night (although we do that pretty well on our own, anyway, on the weekends, but shh...let's not insert reason into the equation). The other reason I don't typically take my drugs on the weekend, unless there's something we really need to get done / want to get done - a big project I might easily get distracted from and pull her away, too - is that my wife says they do affect my mood.
Because I get "hyperfocused", I am not as relaxed, laid back, carefree, calm as I am when I don't take my meds. Often they wear off by the time I get home (although she might argue otherwise), and she likes my personality better when I'm not so, well, drugged.
So, since I did get up early with her today, and since she isn't around to be affected by my mood, necessarily, and since there is a long silent honey-do list that I often politely ignore, I took my meds. Woo hoo - productivity. Well, we'll see. It's just 10 AM.
So, I need a plan. Then I get the piece of paper out and list all the potential things I could be doing (besides work - I actually put on the list, "AVOID work" because sometimes it does tempt me.. if I just spent 15 minutes interruption free, I could get so much done... and save so much time and trouble... but I digress). Otherwise, I would spend the whole day in front of the television catching up on the shows I like but my wife, eh, not so much.
There's value to that. There's value to me getting that out of my system early in the weekend so I don't turn the tube on during the weekend when she's here and disturb her. And there's value to just letting go and escaping. But I do that often enough in her company, too.
Today is special. Today is an opportunity I have to do whatever I want to. I'm in charge. Let's make it not ordinary. Let's make it a day worth taking so I might actually remember to take more days off in the future. (I have a few saved up).
Now the other thing I did that was unfair to my wife is that last night it was my "Friday" night. Woo hoo - I don't have to get up early! I can stay up late! Now we've been very bad on school nights lately, anyway, and staying up, but at some point earlier than even usual, my wife got up and did her night-time routine and was asleep at least a good 45 minutes earlier than we were the night or two before. There was this gap on the couch... ? Where did she go?
And so what do I do? I go find her already pretty much asleep in bed. Well, I sort of find her - our new place has these great light dampening shades, and the room is actually pitch black when I walk in and it takes me a moment to adjust my eyes. I made it easier for myself by turning on my bright flashlight on my phone. (You're welcome, dear). And then I proceed to crawl into bed, and play on my phone.
She had NO problem with me being out in the living room, even having the TV on, or playing on the phone on the couch where I was previously. But I felt the compulsion, instead, to go be next to her and use a bright shiny object that would help her sleep. Oh. Wait. I see that now as I type it. Oops.
So I was on Facebook. (I know... ) And someone had posted something about how the Westboro Baptist Church hates the Finns (or was it the Danish?) and I remembered the fun I had with them a few years back (although I'm not sure I remembered it accurately) and then I decided to open my blog on my phone (if you google "Borg Blog Westboro" it is at the top of the search list - I didn't have to pay a dime for that placement! ;) ).
And then the next thing you know, I was tripping down memory lane with my blog. Hey, you know what I realized? I have a pretty good voice. (She types while modestly patting herself on the back). Okay - top of list tomorrow (oh wait, it's now after midnight as I'm reading these old posts) let's remember to write a blog entry. And oh, yeah, you know you haven't actually been promoting the other posts you've made in the last few months, maybe you should also promote this one...
So, it's early now in The Borg Blog's Day Off - I don't have quite the plan that Ferris does, and I probably won't pack in quite as much stuff, but I will make it my own, and I can now cross off the list: "writing a post on my blog"
"Oh yeah".. chickachicka...